10 Ideas for a Cozy Autumn & Winter

  1. Treating yourself to a new scarf, hat or gloves
  2. Hot chocolate or spiced tea/coffee in a big mug, which you can wrap both hands around
  3. A stroll around a big indoor artisan food or craft fair
  4. Fairy lights decorating a room, before and after Christmas
  5. A candle or perfume with a comforting fragrance
  6. Extra blankets and big cushions on the settee/bed to make a nest from
  7. A thick novel or biography which really engages you
  8. Donating food/clothes to projects and charities for people who are especially vulnerable around this time of year
  9. Big, hearty homemade stews or pies
  10. Having the heating automatically turn on for a while, just before you get out of bed

Chrissie

Care Co – 4 Week Resistance Exercise Plan

Pretty much every Physio I’ve seen has taken into account my little noodle arms, my easily misplaced balance and chronic fatigue and suggested I exercise with a resistance band. So when Care Co – who sell discount mobility aids – asked me to try out an item, that’s what I chose.

What is it?

The Exercise Band (£10) helps you to improve your muscles, fitness, control and co-ordination. You use it’s resistance and your own existing strength to build up more strength. This one smells strongly of latex and is a lovely teal colour. It has numbered positions on it to show you where to place your hands so you can increase the difficulty as you get past the first month.

How and Why?

The booklet contains a four week plan of six different exercises per week. It describes them with easy to follow instructions and illustrations (I’m not great at following instructions thanks to be Dyspraxic but I found this really simple) and also information on diet, general exercise tips and mental health tips, which I all found useful.

I have Hypermobity Syndrome meaning my soft tissue, muscles and joints are too stretchy, flexible and weak so I’d have really preferred the band had a loop on each end to help me hold it better (the booklet does mention consulting your GP if you have joint problems, right at the start). It does have enough room to wrap it around your hands though, if you don’t mind them getting squished, which I didn’t. However, I did need to wear wrist supports when using this.

I really enjoyed working my way through this plan and, I’m not going to lie, the novelty of this weird rubber band. It felt more like I was having fun rather than exercising but I also loved how structured the plan was as I have zero attention span and sporadic motivation, at best.

The Shoulder Press totally defeated me however, as I just didn’t have the strength in weak two or three or four to stretch the band over my head. I actually lost my grip at one point and smacked myself in the jaw! Hardly the first time that I’ve done this over the years btw. My Dad tried it, who stays fairly fit for a bloke in his Seventies and he got it to his jaw, the same as me. My bloke tried it who’s 6’2″ and 16 stone and succeeded immediately. So it is possible!

Can a giant rubber band really make a difference?

I didn’t have the energy to use this everyday but it certainly encouraged me to use it when I did have some. I’ve gotten better at the exercises with practice and my balance and co-ordination have noticeably improved – a big deal for someone with Hypermobilty Syndrome and Dyspraxia (which also effects co-ordination). I also noticed that in just four weeks my muscles adapted to the new kinds of movements.

My lower back was not happy at first but I realised it was because it was already incredibly tense from holding up my slightly floppy spine all day. A massage relaxed the muscles and I’d say the exercises will continue to make my core stronger in the future.

The band immediately highlights your strengths and weaknesses so, if like me, you have chronic fatigue and have to pace your workouts, you could just focus more on the areas that need improvement and reduce the amount you do in just four weeks with the areas that don’t need it as much.

Conclusion

Overall I found the Care Co exercise band to be fun, incredibly versatile, confidence building, easily transportable and storable but more importantly, something that gives me a reason to exercise, rather than an excuse not to.

Rating 4/5

Chrissie

Yaoh – Organic Hemp Seed Oil Shampoo & Conditioner

Yaoh Organic Hemp Seed Oil Shampoo – Coconut and Lime (£5.99 240ml)

Contains extracts of rosemary, lavender and chamomile and is free from sodium lauryl sulphate and other harsh chemicals. The lime and coconut scent reminds me of a delicious holiday cocktail. I have tried shampoos in the past (most of the generic brands from big companies) that have left my hair feeling like tangled straw. I’ve tried shampoos that are a lot more gentle but didn’t really do the job. Yaoh shampoo removed a huge amount excess grease, dirt and product build-up but didn’t strip my hair of it’s natural oils. Sometimes I co-wash (meaning just washing with conditioner to gently refresh hair and re-define it’s shape) but I honestly could have sham-washed with this shampoo, it’s that gentle and nourishing.

Rating 5/5

Yaoh Organic Hemp Seed Oil Conditioner – Summer Breeze (£5.99 240ml)

I have to get this out of the way first; both me and my bloke hated the scent of this so I only used it on the back of my hair for the purpose of reviewing it and then my usual conditioner on the rest.

Rating 2/5 (only for that scent though)

Overall

My hair has never been so soft ever before, not even as a child. It’s like I have a totally new (and much calmer) hair type that just falls into shiny loose spirals – wow!

For 33% off all bath products Nov-Dec use code SHAM33

Chrissie

Moonstone Rings from Gemstone Silver Jewelry

When Gemstone Silver Jewelry asked me if I wanted to feature their rings I knew I wanted to choose two with Moonstones. I love the way Moonstones play with the light and appear solid, yet translucent at the same time; this is known as adularescence. Both tbands and mounts are 9.25 stamped, nickle-free silver.

Here they are in direct sunshine.

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Here they are in defused natural light, where you can see the depth of the stones.

Moonstone Ring – Nobble Passion is so pretty with it’s pear shaped stone and dainty band.

Moonstone Ring – Shimmering Yonder is a beautiful globe shape which bounces the light back in obvious blue and purple colours. It simultaneously looks magical and contemporary.

Considering these rings came all of the way from Nevada, I was surprised at how quickly they arrived. The sizing is spot-on and both rings are reassuringly weighty, without feeling clumsy or distracting – well apart from the wonderful stones which I find myself gazing into frequently!

For 15% off your purchase, enter 15FORU at the checkout.

Chrissie

🎃 Spooky TV Shows To Binge Watch Over Halloween 🎃

Stranger Things 2016 –

How could I not include this! With every 80’s horror-fantasy clique, this series somehow manages to seem fresh and retro at the same time. It’s equally charming, funny, subtly creepy and action packed.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer 1996 – 2003

Total classic about a teenaged slayer, her ‘Scoobie gang’ and her grown up (and very handsome) Watcher who, together, deal with all sorts of supernatural goings on in the town of Sunnydale. Snappy dialogue and wonderful three-dimensional characters.

Preacher 2016 – 

Based on the adult comic book series by DC’s Vertigo line, this story is about a jaded preacher who, stirred by a crazy happening at a church, joins up with his ex and a vampire to fight injustice and to find god. If you are vegetarian you might want to skip all of the scenes with the self proclaimed ‘King of meat’. Thoughtful, darkly funny and a bit nuts!

Supernatural 2005 –

Two brother follow their fathers lead and hunt supernatural creatures. Some episodes can be genuinely creepy but it’s a bit of a mixed bag – depending on what creeps you out.

Doctor Who 2005 –

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The Dr arrives again – this time in the form of a woman who can’t quite remember who she is. When strange things start to happen in the Northern town, she teams up with the people who found her as a race to survive ensues.

The Strain 2014 – 2017

One of the more creepy shows in the list but as a result of a particular person and circumstance, rather than the marauding zombies hordes. The Strain goes from sci-fi outbreak thriller – to holocaust flash-back drama – to zombie horror.

Charmed 2018 –

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Modern take on the beloved 1998 series of three sisters who discover they are much stronger together as they have magic abilities. And boy will they need them!

Grimm 2011-2017

A detective realises he descended from a line of Grimms who are sworn to hunt vesesen – people who turn into animals and other beings – who are disrupting the equilibrium. What happens when he realises some of them are his neighbours and how does he explain everything to his girlfriend and colleagues? Loosly based on Grimms Fairytails, this show is so much fun!

The X-Files 1993 – 

This classic, iconic show has covered, sci-fi, fantasy, pseudo science, the paranormal, myths and legends and in a few episodes straight up horror. Here’s a link to the 10 most scary episodes so you know what to avoid, hehe!

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

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Sabrina is still about a teen witch coping with everyday teen life but it’s darker than the original; a mash-up of True Blood meets Pretty Little Liars in tone maybe?

Which ones have you watched or are planning on watching? 

Chrissie V—-V

Oversized Batwing Jumper – Boohoo

This oversized batwing jumper from Boohoo (£25) is the statement jumper for A/W. It’s soft, cozy and stylish.

Fit

The neckline is just right; not too sloppy and not too tight. I’m 5’8″ and the bottom hem falls just below my bottom. The sleeves are way past my wrists and the batwing cut holds in any body warmth but is easily realised with a quick flap, ha! I’m a U.K. size 12 and I’m so glad I ordered a ‘small’ as that is certainly over-sized enough.

Style

This is described as ‘lime’ but I would say it’s more of an acid yellow-green, which is very flattering on medium-dark skin tones. The length is perfect to wear with leggings, skinny jeans or to dress down a leather mini. If you are fairly short, this would be jumper-dress length. I love the bat wing style, which still works with an oversized jumper as the bottom hem creates shape. Teamed with black this colour is bright! With grey it’s more subtle and teamed with white it looks really fresh and could carry you right through to Spring.

Chrissie

Simple Ghoul/Undead Look Using Everyday Makeup

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Brains!

Fringe (bangs) – Dry shampoo and styling putty. I ran out of dry shampoo but would have like to apply more so it looked white.

Face – White and light green eyeshadow, mixed with a silvery highlighter to give my face a pale but eerie glow. Used my fingernail to gently score out bits of makeup around my nose and chin for an uneven look (top picture).

Eyes – Grey eyeliner randomly applied, blended up to my eyebrows. Sparkly green liquid eyeshadow dabbed in the middle. Grey and green smeared down my cheeks like slimy sludge (bottom picture).

Lips – A nude-brown lipstick with foundation lightly dabbed over the top.

Chrissie V—-V

Ciate Minis – Gelology Collection – Paradise Lost

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I have way too many nail polishes so I’m only buying ones from now on that are very versatile or have something special about them.

Paradise Lost is a beautiful rose gold colour with copper tones and incredibly fine sparkle, which has a matte texture.

 

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Ciate Gelology range incorporates their most popular shades but this time in a highlight pigmented gel finish that bonds to the nail better and bends with the nail for longer wear. This glided on easily and two thin coats gave this amazing depth of colour. I do have very weak bendy nails and it hasn’t cracked or flaked at all!

I’m going to be wearing this through October and the party season. It will also look stunning with a tan in Summer.

Chrissie